Friday, 10 September 2010

Limbo land

These past few weeks have been intense ones for political tragics like myself. I have been obsessed with the statistics and details of our newly formed hung parliament and the negotiations (and ultimate) decisions of the Independents as to who to support to form a new government. Part of my obsession was grounded in my genuine fear of living under the reality of an Abbott government - albeit a rather hamstrung one, considering the make-up of both the House of Reps and the Senate (with the Greens set to hold the balance of power come July 2011). However, my obsession was also fueled by the fact that I found the whole process inherently fascinating.

Now, of course, we have a new government (and thank goodness it is a Gillard-led minority government - I have a hopeful feeling that I am going to like her far more in governing-mode than I did in campaigning-mode) and it is time to move on with life. But given that I am now over 38 weeks pregnant this is no simple matter. Life in these last weeks of pregnancy kind of resembles life under a shifting minority government - you really have no idea from one day to the next what will happen. Even worse, unlike the situation we just went through as a nation, no one else is really interested in endlessly speculating about what might happen when and there is even less concrete information available on which to base such speculations.

And so I am just trying to patiently exist in limbo land, knowing each day may be my last day of pregnancy; my last day without a newborn baby to attend to. I'm not very good at being pregnant (to put it mildly) and so I am partly yearning for each day to be the last. I would love to rid myself of this cumbersome pregnant body and I am so so very keen to meet and snuggle Charlie. But, well, I still have a few things to do before the birth and I am not crazy enough (this time around) to think that I'll have the slightest capacity to attend to them once Mr Charlie has made his appearance. So, I guess I'd better get back to writing this bloody book chapter and to finalising my pile of Christmas presents (yes, that is really on my List).

I hope that you are all keeping well and that you're enjoying our "New Paradigm." It looks like we'll all have to avoid even glancing at The Australian for the duration lest we want to lose our collective sanity to the Great Unhinging.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Makin' toys for my babes

While Lily was unwell she took to flicking through my 'Softies' sewing book and asking me to make her some of the toys that she found in it. I was happy to do it too, because the process of choosing the toy and the fabrics and the process of helping me to trace the patterns and stuff the toys transformed her briefly from a listless little thing into an excited and happy girl.

The first toy that she chose was "Mabel Monkey" and I took the opportunity to make a second one for Charlie. I was really happy with the way they turned out too. It's a really simple and straightforward pattern.

As soon as "Mabel" was finished, Lily gave her a big cuddle, threw a birthday party for her and then picked up the book again to choose another toy. When I thought about it, I could understand why. When I was a child, if I could have made pictures in a book come to life within a day or two, I would have been all about it too.

I was also pretty happy with her next choice. I have always liked the look of "Polly" and I thought that Lily's choice of fabrics was lots of fun. Again, it was a pretty simple pattern to make and I loved how Polly turned out.

Finally, I have been intending to make Lily a Steiner doll to give her after the birth as a sort of "Big Sister" present. I got my lovely sister-in-law to help me get started quite some time ago and then it sat in my study/studio for a long time... Well, I finally bought the book "Making Waldorf Dolls" a few weeks ago and it gave me to courage to finish the doll.

I have to say that, unlike the softies, this was not an easy project. I found it pretty challenging actually and won't be jumping to make another one for quite a while. My sister-in-law makes these dolls for her business and only charges $145 for each doll (which comes with two complete outfits, including gorgeous hand-knitted cardigans!). Once you consider the considerable cost of the materials that go into making them, plus the time that it takes to put them together, I would have to charge upwards of $500 to even make a profit. I am in awe of her!

That said, in the end I was really happy with how Lil's doll turned out (especially if you look back at my first attempt at making a Steiner doll!) and I am kind of excited to give it to her after Charlie is born.

What do you think of them?


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